Edward Hopper / The Lighthouse at Two Lights / 1929Edward Hopper
The Lighthouse at Two Lights

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Creator Name: Hopper, Edward
Creator Nationality: North American; American
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: American, 1882-1967
Creator Name-CRT: Edward Hopper
Title: The Lighthouse at Two Lights
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1929
Creation End Date: 1929
Creation Date: 1929
Object Type: Paintings
Materials and Techniques: oil on canvas
Dimensions: H. 29-1/2, W. 43-1/4 in. (74.9 x 109.9 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 62.95
Credit Line: Hugo Kastor Fund, 1962
Rights: http://www.metmuseum.org/

Edward Hopper's early training from 1900 to 1906 at the New York School of Art with Robert Henri, leader of The Eight, and his work as an illustrator between 1899 and 1924, led him to paint realistic scenes of urban and rural America. In 1924 a successful gallery exhibition in New York enabled him to give up commercial work altogether and concentrate full time on painting. Hopper depicted his favored subjects - cityscapes, landscapes, and room interiors - solemnly, in carefully composed compositions that seem timeless and frozen but are animated by the effects of natural and man-made light. As fellow painter Charles Burchfield wrote for the catalogue of the Museum of Modern Art's 1933 Hopper retrospective: "Hopper's viewpoint is essentially classic; he presents his subjects without sentiment, propaganda, or theatrics. He is the pure painter, interested in his material for its own sake, and in the exploitation of his idea of form, color, and space division."

In "The Lighthouse at Two Lights" Hopper isolated the dramatic silhouette of the 120-foot-high lighthouse tower and adjoining Coast Guard station against the open expanse of blue sky. Set on a rocky promontory in Cape Elizabeth, Maine - though no water is visible in the painting - the architecture is bathed in bright sunlight offset by dark shadows. Since 1914 Hopper had regularly summered in Maine, and this picture is one of three oils and several watercolors that he did of this site during summer 1929. To Hopper, the lighthouse at Two Lights symbolized the solitary individual stoically facing the onslaught of change in an industrial society. The integrity and clarity of his work made Hopper a quiet force in American art for forty years and one of America's most popular artists.

AMICA ID: MMA_.62.95
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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